Sat 13 Apr 2013
A 79-year-old bicyclist from Terra Linda, David Hauer, died at approximately 12:25 p.m. Friday in Inverness Park when he fell against the passenger side of a passing pickup truck driven by Juan Rubio, 52, of Marshall. Both the truck and the bicycle were eastbound on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that as Mr. Rubio was passing the bicyclist at a slow speed, the bicyclist began to lose control of his bicycle for unknown reasons,” the Highway Patrol later reported.
“It appears that the bicyclist fell to his left and under the pickup truck where he was struck by the rear wheel of the pickup.”
The victim covered with a yellow plastic sheet remained in the roadway long after the accident.
The impact cracked Hauer’s helmet, and he received major head injuries. The accident occurred next to the parking area for Perry’s Inverness Park Store and the Busy Bee Bakery. Gail “Shorty” Coppinger, who works at the store, and a friend attempted without success to resuscitate Hauer.
Then “paramedics arrived on scene and after attending to the bicyclist determined he suffered fatal injuries,” the Highway Patrol noted.
“Mr. Rubio (right) heard the collision and immediately stopped to see what had happened,” the Highway Patrol added. Rubio said he did not see what caused Hauer to fall over.
Two other bicyclists (at right) were riding with Hauer, but they were ahead of him and did not see the accident, they said, but described the victim as “an experienced rider.” Hauer’s bicycle (seen here) was not damaged in the accident.
Rubio, a Highway Patrol officer, and one of Hauer’s companions together inspect where the truck was scraped when the bicyclist fell.
The Highway Patrol and the Coroner’s Office each conducted its own investigation, and “both lanes of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard were closed for approximately three hours while the collision was investigated,” the CHP reported.
Because few roadways in West Marin have paved shoulders, let alone bicycle lanes, even some experienced bicyclists have become wary of riding on local thoroughfares. A nearby resident who stood watching the scene — his car stuck in the traffic jam — noted he and his wife no longer ride their bicycles here, fearing an accident such as this could happen to one of them.